The worst thing about unemployment is that I’ve been relegated back to using high street concealer. You notice the differences so much more acutely if you’ve had a taste of the good stuff and then are forced back to high street. Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat (retails for around £25) ingratiated itself onto my skin with a wand of the softest, most delicate fibres- as though it were being kissed on by cherubs. Rimmel’s Wake Me Up concealer (around £6) has a cumbersome solid stick that feels like an insult to my skin. Touche Éclat’s palest hue (for those with the type of translucent Celtic skin that can burn by standing too near a 60 watt light bulb) has a pink undertone that melds seamlessly with my colouring (or lack thereof). Rimmel’s palest hue, however, has a sickly, jaundiced undertone which means wearing it feels like a guilty admission that, yes, I have dark circles that need concealing. See, that is the main difference between expensive and cheap make up: the latter draws attention to itself with its gaudy colours and less blendable formulas, while the high end stuff unobtrusively and decisively makes you look your best self. High end cosmetics are like the most exquisitely discreet butler, knowing just how to serve their employer best and with grace, while high street make up is the equivalent of a loud, terribly gossipy cabbie. At least half of most celebrities’ allure is down to serious make up expertly applied. Seriously.
I’m not one for believing that dearer necessarily means better but when it comes to make up, forking out £20 more puts you in a whole different league. I haven’t splashed out on a lot of products, but there are a few that I swear by. Along with the fabled Touche Éclat, Estee Lauder Double Wear mascara, Nars Copacabana highlighter and Dior’s Rouge Zinnia lipstick are all unequivocally worth the extra money for the quality of colour, feel and effectiveness. Double Wear is the ONLY mascara I’ve ever used that physically can’t smudge. It’s also about something a bit more intangible than just ingredients and colours; it’s the tiny frisson of magic you get when opening the stylish packaging that makes you feel, well, special. Most people can’t afford designer clothing, but more can afford the cosmetics. Touche Éclat is the most popular luxury concealer, it is a mass market product that somehow still feels exclusive. And more importantly than that, it bloody works. There’s nothing for it, my face has been spoiled now and won’t accept anything else, living off beans for a while to justify splurging on replacing it? Seems sensible to me.